Put a Healthy Spring in Your Step

This post written by Stephanie Maw BSN, RN, PCCN, and Kaitlyn Cooper BS, EP, in the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Center at Torresdale- Jefferson Health.

Spring is just around the corner so its time to get up and get out! Following the heart health month of February, March is a great time to start thinking about our spring and summer goals. Exercise does not necessarily mean having to join a gym. Here are some great inexpensive ways to get out and move without having to go far from home.

Walking:

Walking is not just a task we involuntarily do every day. It is a healthy way to maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones and muscles, improve any balance issues, as well as improve your overall mood. The American Heart Association recommends “30 minutes a day of moderate exercise for five days a week” to maintain optimal heart health.

Getting started:

Find a walking partner/join a walking club. A study showed that people are 76 percent more likely to walk if they know another person is counting on them. This is an exciting way to motivate you to walk.

Walk the dog! Buddy has been cooped up all winter too and is ready to get out and explore! Take your pup, or grand-pup out for a stroll.

Change up the usual routine! Although walking the same route has its benefits, changing up the routine can be fun and exciting. Visit your local park or walking path and give yourself a new area to explore.

Motivation:

Give yourself something to work towards. Signing up for a charity walk of your choice can give you motivation to train your self and build endurance to complete the walk with little to no difficulty.

The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day! So grab a friend or family member (or even Buddy the dog) and get outside to support this national movement.

Hydration is key:

It is important to be aware of signs that the body gives to identify dehydration. Thirst is a sign that the body is already dehydrated and asking for water. To avoid any dehydration, it is important to hydrate before, during and after any exercise you complete. Although we do not experience extremely hot temperatures in the spring, the risk of dehydration does not dissipate. Along with starting a new exercise routine spring is also a good time to start thinking about healthier eating habits. A fun and exciting way to help incorporate fruit and vegetables in your diet is to plant and grow your own in the comfort of your own yard! You don’t need a lot of space,  a window box or even a large flowerpot will do. Fresh herbs, tomatoes and pepper plants can be planted in these small locations with little to no maintenance.

March 20th is the first day of spring, and will be here before you know it. So remember to find a buddy, plan your routes, and find a diet that can be fun and beneficial to a heart healthy spring season.

 

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